November 7 2017  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Three finalists chosen in strongly contested Bacardi Cruise Cocktail competition

By Hibah Noor

The 2018 Bacardi Legacy Global Cruise Cocktail Competition has attracted more than 1,600 entries from the cruise industry’s leading bartenders.

Now in its 13th year, the annual cruise competition is the longest-running cruise cocktail/bartender competition, setting out to recognize the best professional talent in the industry.

This year’s cruise winner will go on to compete in the world finals in Mexico City in April 2018.

The three most promising contestants were selected based on judging of their original Bacardi rum cocktail recipe, especially created for the competition with Carta Blanca, Oro or Ocho Años as a base.

The finalists are:

- Dayonel Dueñas Gomez originates from Colombia and serves cruise guests on Carnival Cruise Line’s Triumph. The inspiration for his Mamita Chula, containing Carta Blanca rum, is fuelled by his mother’s influence in building strong family ties and the importance of food and flavors in creating a family legacy across the generations.

- Shekar Grover, from India, mixes cocktails on Royal Caribbean Cruises. Using Ocho Años and Martini Bianco, his Royal Legacy cocktail is inspired by the classic Old Fashioned.

- Celebrity Cruises’ Andrej Malic says the inspiration for his Paloma Rica, containing Ocho Años, comes straight from the heart of Bacardi following his visit to the distillery in Puerto Rico.

Zachary Sulkes, International Key Account Manager (Cruise), Bacardi Global Travel Retail, said: “As the Bacardi Legacy Global Cruise Cocktail Competition comes around each year, we are always blown away by the increasing standards of professionalism and the sheer ambition amongst the cruise bartending community to keep developing their craft.

“Many leading cruise operators share our energy and commitment to this competition as an aspirational benchmark for their bartenders. No other brand or spirits company has engaged more with the cruise industry than Bacardi and we are really proud of how, with these cruise partners, we are collectively recognizing and developing up-and-coming talent, which in turn continues to elevate the onboard drinking experience.”

The next stage of the competition sees finalists embark on a three-month promotional campaign to build support for their drink ahead of the cruise finals in Miami in February 2018.

The winner will then compete in the global finals in Mexico City in April 2018. Each of the three finalists will receive US$1,000 and a trip to Miami for the cruise finals. The winner will receive a further US$4,000 and a trip to Mexico City for the global finals.

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